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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Organizing Challenge: Photos

I have been working (on and off) on my photos since AUGUST.  I have old family photos in all sorts of weird sizes.  I have more family prints than I want to think about.  And I have an insane amount of digital photos.

And while I’m still not “finished” sorting, I’m finally to a point where I can start getting certain prints into albums so we can actually enjoy them.  If you can’t enjoy looking at them… why even bother taking the photo in the first place?

When I started taking a lot of photos, I put them in albums.  Problem with that was you couldn’t tell any stories with your photos.  If there was any space in the album to write on it was barely enough to tell when and where, never mind who or what!

So then I started scrapbooking.  But the problem I had with that was it took so much time and so many supplies I didn’t get a lot done.  Certainly didn’t keep up with the photos.

And that left me with boxes and boxes of photos to get into some sort of album, and even larger boxes of souvenirs and tidbits to go with the scrapbooking.  I was starting to wonder if I needed to rent a storage shed just to store all this stuff!

Then I took a class on “speed scrapbooking”. The heavens parted and the angels sang!

Speed scrapbooking takes the best elements of both worlds (photo albums and scrapbooks) and brings them together. It works this way.

You purchase photo albums with no “writing areas” in them. I have found really nice ones for a good price at Home Goods (that’s where those above are from).

They typically hold five 4x6 photos per page… 3 in horizontal positioning and 2 in vertical positioning.

With speed scrapbooking you think “small” and “flat”. Each of those little pockets is an opportunity to hold a memory. You can place in photos, memorabilia and journaling. Don’t forget the journaling!

I’m going to use speed scrapbooking to catch-up on all my photos that I haven’t already started a traditional scrapbook album for (and that is a lot!). Once I get those done, I will go back and finish out the scrapbooks (I think there are about 5 I need to do).

With my digital photos, I have been getting them into files by year and event. The big job is culling thru them and deleting the excess. I got my first digital camera in ’06… so that is how far back I have to work on. Uf-da!

I am going to print out the “best of the best” for safe keeping. And I’m going to back-up the rest to both an external hard drive AND to DVDs (2 each).

To display my digital photos I use an online company that makes books with your photos. I use But there are many other companies out there such as and that do similar printing.

I’ve gotten some books printed but my goal now is to do my last trip and project before another comes up. That means I have to do our MN/WI trip from Nov AND my book of photos from Little Bird’s First Year (and Little Bird is now 18 months old!). I need to get cracking!

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